This May, a new Heroic Age begins in the Marvel Universe, a time for the champions of good to step forward and repair the damage that evil has done to their world. But what happens when one of those champions is a hyper-active, heavily armed, immature, insane, unkillable ex-mercenary? That's right folks - whether his fellow heroes like it or not, Deadpool is going to be a big part of the Marvel U's new "Heroic Age." God help us all! CBR News spoke with "Deadpool" writer Daniel Way about his plans for series.
Recently, Deadpool decided he was done with the gun for hire business, which left the Ex-Merc With a Mouth, desperate for a new purpose in life. A few hallucinations and a bar fight later, Wade Wilson decided that he wanted to be a superhero. In the "Want You to Want Me" arc that ran from "Deadpool" #15 to #18, he attempted to join up with the X-Men...and failed spectacularly. Deadpool isn't about to give up his hero's journey, however. The next leg of it begins in "Deadpool", #19 on sale February 17, the first part of a three part storyline titled "Whatever a Spider Can."
"'Whatever a Spider Can' is about Deadpool going to New York. After having his difficulties joining the X-Men, he decides that maybe being on a team isn't the way for him to go. Maybe he should try the lone wolf route and be like Spider-Man. He's not sure how Spider-Man does what he does, though," Way told CBR News. "He has an idea and wants to get right to it so he can be a better hero than Spider-Man. So, in Deadpool's mind the thing to do is go see Spider-Man and see if Spidey will teach him his moves."
Deadpool approaching Spider-Man is, of course, awkward, but things are complicated even further by the arrival of enigmatic assassin known as Hit-Monkey, whose back story is detailed in a "Hit-Monkey" one-shot also written by Way and available now. "As soon as Deadpool approaches Spider-Man, Hit-Monkey hits town and he's laying waste to the criminal underworld. When Deadpool shows up in the midst of all these professional killings Spider-Man puts two and two together and doesn't quite believe Deadpool's cover story of , 'I'm just here to see you.' So you can imagine what happens there," Way explained. "I'm really excited about Hit-Monkey. His story was first published as an online comic, which got a lot of good response. I'm curious to see what print readers think of our little creation. Hopefully they like him and we can do some more stories with him later on down the road."
Deadpool's exploits with Spider-Man and Hit-Monkey conclude in issue #21 and the next issue finds Wade Wilson out of New York and in the mountains of Georgia. "Issue #22 is a done in one. It allows us to take a breather and move Deadpool out of the happenings of the Marvel Universe before we plunge right back in with the 'Heroic Age,'" Way said. "So this is Deadpool in my neck of the woods. He's traveling by bus and his bus gets robbed by an organized group of thieves."
Now, some of you may be asking, "What trouble does an organized group of thieves pose to an unkillable heavily armed character like Deadpool?" Usually the answer to that question would be "None at all," but this group of thieves has a special member, Appalachia's own supervillain White Ligthnin'!
"White Lightnin' basically embodies every negative stereotype of the South. His real name is Clovis Mane, and one night he was working on his still in the middle of a lightning storm. He was coiling up all this copper wire, which isn't exactly the smartest thing to do, but once you meet Clovis you'll see that's not out character. So he gets struck by lightning and through some strange confluence of events, whether it's the moonshine or some possible problems with his DNA, Clovis becomes a human super conductor," Way explained. "He's able to absorb and discharge massive amounts of electricity. He can't hold it for very long, though, so he has all these car batteries strapped all over his body. He's the heavy hitter in a criminal enterprise operating out of the mountains of North Georgia and he has the sorry fortune of coming face to face with Deadpool. Or is it vice versa?"
"Deadpool" #23 hits stores in May and features art by Carlo Barberi. When it begins, Deadpool is still pursuing his quest to be a hero, but the beginning of the Heroic Age brings his quest new complications. "It's frustrating that becoming a hero is so difficult, but Deadpool isn't interested in doing anything easy. So he's committed to it, but he's been on this journey for a few months now and suddenly everyone else has come out and decided to be heroes again. His point of view is that they're all trying to copy him and it kind of pisses him off," Way revealed. "He's looking at a lot of these guys, and they're not even very good good guys, yet they're still getting a lot of love and respect, and he isn't. So he's trying to remedy that situation, and it comes down to, how is he going to make himself look good? How is Deadpool going to be perceived as a hero? Does he have to rise above all the other heroes? Or does he just tear them all down?"
The title of that arc is an homage to the classic Run DMC song and video, "Tricky." "If you've ever seen the original video for the song, it explains a lot of the story in this arc. It's the video where you've got Penn and Teller running a Three Card Monte game and they're turning this poor girl out. They even take her gold chain," Way said. "She ends up calling up Reverend Run and Jam-Master Jay and they go and sort things out, but by the end of the video the villains have picked up all the stylings of Run DMC and they're profiting from it, leaving Run DMC out in the cold even though they're the originators."
The action in "Tricky" unfolds in Las Vegas, a locale that Way for a couple of reasons. "The best reason is that it's an environment that kind of suits Deadpool. It's garish, loud, never sleeps and there's a lot of uncertainty. It's a place where Deadpool just fits," the writer explained. "There's also a specific reason. He's lead there for one reason and then runs headlong into another very good reason why he should be there. It's because someone from his past is about to pop up; someone who has decided to get in on the hero bit. And that's when things start to go sideways.
"There will be a lot big name heroes showing up in 'Tricky,' but it only features a fairly small cast of characters when it comes to advancing the plot," Way continued. "I don't want to give away the identity of the first person who shows up. It's somebody that Deadpool fans have been waiting to see, for sure."
The tone of "Tricky" will feature everything "Deadpool" fans have come to love about the book, and then some. "You can expect lots of action, general insanity, some funny one-liners, and a very imperceptible plan that you hopefully won't be able to figure out till it's laid out in front of you," Way stated. "With these stories, we kind of go back and forth between very big and very small. 'Do Idiots Dream of Electric Stupidity?,' our one off with White Lightnin', is a small self contained story. So 'Tricky' is one of those big, overblown arcs. It's almost on the scale of our opening 'Secret Invasion' tie-in arc."
The grand scope and scale of Deadpool's adventures will continue well into the later part of 2010. "There are some really big things building with a couple of principal characters in the Marvel Universe during the Heroic Age, and Deadpool is going to get involved. He's going to make a move that gives him what he wants, but it may not be in the way that he wants it," Way hinted. "He's finally going to have someone approach him to do what he wants to do, but it's going to be a circumstantial thing and it's not for the purest of reasons."